Search and Rescue teams have located and saved a pair of Finnish cross-country skiers stuck on Vatnajökull glacier. Vísir reports that a rescue team had saved another member of their group earlier in the week when he fell ill and advised the remaining tourists to leave the glacier with them as storms in the area were predicted to worsen considerably.
Alas, the Finns refused their offer of a ride back to safety.
As a storm blew in yesterday, the Finns lost much of their equipment, including their tent, and were forced to call in for help.
With extremely poor visibility due to the magnitude of the storm and the amount of snow on the glacier the rescue team struggled to reach the Finns, stranded roughly 35 kilometres inland on the glacier.
“The snowfall is extremely heavy here,” said one rescue worker on route to the Finnish cross-country skiers, in a video posted to the rescue team’s Facebook page. “We’re just crawling along.”
The rescue teams have confirmed now however, that the tourists have been saved and dropped off at a hotel to rest.
It is important to remain vigilant when traveling in the Icelandic countryside. The nature tends to be hostile. So if you have plans to traverse Iceland be sure to check out Safe Travel for recommendations and the Icelandic Road and Coastal Administration to stay aware of any road closures or warnings.
Iceland’s Search and Rescue teams are manned entirely by unpaid volunteers who put their own lives at risk when they go out to save people in trouble. The equipment and resources used by Iceland’s Search and Rescue teams are funded entirely by donations and by selling fireworks in the run up to New Year’s Eve.